A few months ago I realized Mr. M didn't know any numbers and really didn't seem to have any interest in learning them. I tried using books and songs but it just wasn't sticking. Then I remembered seeing something (a blog? a Pinterest post?) about using cars to teach numbers. I couldn't find the one I'd seen originally so I recreated the concept in my own way here.
I grabbed ten of his collection of dinky cars (he has approximately 18,079,885 of them - and, according to him, it's still not enough), some masking tape and a permanent marker. I labelled each car with a number.
Then I found a cardboard box and drew "parking spots" with numbers on them as well. He knew immediately what to do and started matching the car numbers to their spots. I reinforced this by naming the number whenever he used one.
Once they were all in their spots we counted to 10. Within a few days he was identifying the numbers on his own and counting to 10 on his own. Hooray!
Fast forward a few months and, as I was playing with him today, I realized he couldn't identify letters other than his own M and a couple others. I had bought one of those things teachers use in classrooms with letters on them (for around a bulletin board or something?) last year for Miss M.
I put it along a counter area they colour on for her to refer to when learning to write letters. They only come in packs of 10 or so, so I've had 9 more sitting in storage since.
I couldn't find the exact one I have (we found it at Scholar's Choice) but there are plenty of options on Amazon and in any office supply or teacher's supply store.
Today I took another one of those and placed it underneath the one on the wall and then took 26 cars from his collection and labelled them each with a letter to match the ones on the wall so they each had a lettered parking spot.
Simple as pie (you could use the cardboard box method for this if you don't want to buy the letter strips and it would work just as well). Now he has motivation to learn his letters and a fun learning activity for us to do together (that he actually WANTS to do)!